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  Business   In Other News  26 Mar 2018  Panagariya calls for PSBs’ privatisation

Panagariya calls for PSBs’ privatisation

PTI
Published : Mar 26, 2018, 12:20 am IST
Updated : Mar 26, 2018, 12:20 am IST

Mr Panagariya was replying to a query related to the recent banking frauds, including nearly Rs 13,000 crore at PNB.

Former Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya  (Photo: PTI)
 Former Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Former Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya has made a strong case for privatisation of public sector banks with the exception of SBI, saying that political parties serious of forming government in 2019 should include the proposal in their manifesto.

Mr Panagariya, who is currently a professor of economics at Columbia University, further said that predominance of scandals and NPAs in PSBs is only one albeit important reason for privatisation of PSBs.

 

“I firmly believe that privatisation of all PSBs except perhaps the State Bank of India should be on the election manifestos of all parties who wish to present themselves as serious candidates to form the government in 2019,” he said in an interview to PTI.

Mr Panagariya was replying to a query related to the recent banking frauds, including nearly Rs 13,000 crore at PNB.

The economist further argued that efficiency and productivity too demand that the government relinquish its control of the large number of banks whose m-cap has dwindled despite the fact that they hold the bulk of the deposits.

Mr Panagariya noted that it is disingenuous to argue, as many advocates of PSBs do, that achieving social goals of lending requires two-dozen banks in the public sector.

 

“The fact of the matter is that private sector banks have often performed better than public sector banks in delivering on their priority-sector-lending obligations,” he pointed out.

Asked to comment on recent trade tensions, with US President Donald Trump targeting India, Panagariya said that he would not hesitate to liberalise India’s trade further rather than risk the US closing its markets to Indian goods.

On Nobel laureate Paul Krugman’s recent comment that India story could end with mass unemployment, he admitted that Mr Krugman is surely right to point to the importance of manufacturing in the economic transformation of a developing country.

 

“I think manufacturing growth is essential for creating productive and well-paid jobs rather than escape mass unemployment,” he said, adding that the economy is surely creating jobs.

Tags: us president donald trump, niti aayog, arvind panagariya, psbs